SlutWalk pp 113-138 | Cite as

Representing the Movement: SlutWalk is Misguided or Opposed

  • Kaitlynn Mendes


Where Chapter 4 focused on the frames and discourses used to construct SlutWalk as a movement which challenges rape culture and victim blaming, this chapter focuses on the way the movement was framed as misguided and/or opposed. This chapter pays particular attention to feminist critiques of the movement as one which plays to the male gaze, and thus is incapable of challenging patriarchal rape culture. It also focuses on the ways the movement was seen to focus on ‘trivial’ issues instead of those of ‘real’ concern. Moving on, the chapter evaluates the utility of these critiques, arguing that a critical examination of the movement’s aims, tactics and goals is important, particularly in a postfeminist era in which women’s empowerment is said to be best achieved through the overt display of one’s sexuality. At the same time, I argue that SlutWalk provides evidence of a departure away from a postfeminist ‘sensibility’ (Gill 2007), in which feminism has been ‘taken into account’ only to be depoliticized and rejected. Instead many of the texts recognize the need to challenge rape culture, and the issue of contention revolves around which strategies are the most appropriate or effective. The chapter concludes by de-bunking discourses stating SlutWalkers are naïve in regards to men’s ‘true’ nature, and argues that the main problem with rape prevention tips is not merely that they condone victim blaming, but that they ignore the reality of rape as a crime of domination, violence, entitlement, control and power, rather than sex and passion.


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Copyright information

© Kaitlynn Mendes 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kaitlynn Mendes
    • 1
  1. 1.University of LeicesterUK

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